Stephanie's Reviews > On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family

On Gold Mountain by Lisa See
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's review
Feb 13, 2010

really liked it
Read in January, 2010

The story of a remarkable man and his descendants, made doubly interesting by the fact that the man was a Chinese immigrant to California in the 1870's. The deck was so stacked against Chinese immigrants then and for the next almost 100 years (immigration almost impossible once the railroad was complete, almost impossible for women to immigrate, illegal to marry a white person, illegal to own property, couldn't become a citizen, etc. etc. etc.) that to survive and even thrive was an amazing achievement. The members of this family were leading actors in Los Angeles Chinatown for several generations, and they were so enterprising, adventurous, and hard-working that I was really inspired.

The only thing I didn't like about this book was when the author pretended to get inside the heads of her great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather and others of their generations. That part just seemed so fake. How could she even try to imagine what they were thinking, or even HOW they were thinking, much less pass it off as real? That just seemed silly to me, and I almost stopped reading (that part is at the beginning). I'm glad I didn't, though, because then I would have missed out on all the exciting developments and amazing accomplishments of her family over the next 100 years.
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